The internet and social media is full of bad advice. These blogging myths are all about pushing some sort of agenda – whether it is to scare people away from blogging by intimidating, or to sell something to bloggers to “help them overcome.” I’ve succumbed to some of the myths and then quickly discovered that this just isn’t the truth! Here are some of the most common blogging myths that you need to overcome to become a better and more motivated blogger.
1. Blogging = Bank
If you are anything like me, you’ve read one of THOSE articles. An article about a guy, who starts a blog and within a month is getting 100K pageviews a day and making 10K in affiliate cash. Yeah, my bullshit meter always goes through the roof when I read something like that. I can honestly say, I’ve never peeked in the guy’s bank-account, but the doubter of humanity in me yells – “Liar Liar Pants on Fire!” There are blogs that make bank, and they have been around for awhile, building up an audience, gaining trust, blogs like Huffington Post, Mashable and Perez Hilton. Perez Hilton, one of my heroes, because he started his blog on a whim and now earns $3,500K+ daily in advertising sales. Ten years in operation though! Starting a blog does not mean that “one-day” you will make money, if that is your goal it is just like any other business. It takes hard-work, determination and know-how to earn an income. Most blogs, even some of the top 50 earning blogs, usually only earn a couple hundred a month. Not enough to quit your job over. Most “top-earners” in the blogging industry report about $500 a week in extra earnings and their blogging is a full-time job. Granted once you “make-it,” the Mashables, the Lifehackers etc…well then you can laugh me out the water.
2. Blogging is Easy
I declare shenanigans on this statement. I’ve been told “You are a blogger? What? You just write and record a few videos?” when I’ve described myself as a blogger. Most people think that I sit at home, write silly little quips about books and then I’m done. Blogging is not easy, you don’t just quickly create a Blogger blog and viola – you are blogging! If you are serious about your blog, there will be a lot of time spent crafting your blog, a lot of research, networking, coding, even money spent, to get your blog, just right. It is not easy. Nothing in life that is worth anything, is easy. It takes hard work, dedication and a passion for what you blog about. If not…it falls flat and you’ll quickly abandon your blog.
3. Content is EVERYTHING
If you write. They will come. False. Great content is a must, to keep the readers coming back for more, but if you just put it out there, how will readers find it? You can write the most brilliant piece ever conceived by a human being, post it – and not get 1 view. Don’t sacrifice your content, but put your focus into building your network and blogging relationships instead of sitting back and waiting for readers to come to you.
4. Blogging is Dead
The YouTubers love toting this, the MicroBloggers love saying this, social media users love saying this… “You guys are so old-news!” They have been saying this since Facebook and Twitter took off, then they began saying it when mircoblogging came in “fashion” and now with the YouTube community exploding – they are still trying to kill us. Blogging isn’t dead. It won’t die. Still to this day a well written blog post, is one of the best ways to attract attention. There is a reason that the top internet earners are Bloggers, not YouTubers, like Huffington Post and Mashable. Because they deliver quality articles, posts and news, which are shared through social media. And the kicker of the whole situation is that a Blogger owns their content. They own their domain and can control their own content. Sites like YouTube and microblogging platforms like Tumblr are all “free” content sites, which means you have to conform to their Terms of Service. If they find you are in violation of their terms they can pull your content.
5. More is Better
6. High Comments = Popularity
A lot of bloggers get lost in the fact that they need comments to cement their place in the blogging universe. “My post has no comments!” I hear lamented over and over again. You have to understand that most people do not comment. The estimation is 1% of readers comment. And they only comment if they have a reason to comment. This is why it is generally urged for you to embed yourself in a community, comment on other people’s blogs, have reader prompt questions, that sort of thing to promote commenting. These actions do not increase your views on your blog – they just usually increase your comment ratio. If you have become a stand-out blogger within this community, with something worth commenting on, the reader will jump out of their RSS reader, Bloglovin’ dashboard or follow that twitter link — and comment on your blog. Comments are generally subjective to the blogger. Each blogger should have goals and try and meet those goals. If you goal is to have a high comment count, focus on getting people to comment by engaging. If it is to increase pageviews — focus on that. Don’t let a low comment count discourage you.
7. Expensive Blog Design is a Must!
No true. I might be eradicating some of my business, but a blog design should be implemented if you want to convey a certain feel to your readers, not because you need it to “be a better blogger.” There are some great “free” blog designs out there and I would recommend moving over to WordPress.org before I would recommend paying for a blog design on a “free” blogging platform. The cost of moving to WordPress.org is estimated at about $35 – $75 depending on the host you choose. About the same as a fancy new Blogger Template. I understand that some of you want to stay with Blogger because of GFC and more power to you, this is just my recommendation. You don’t see a GFC on my sidebar and I think I’m doing okay. On top of this, I always recommend simplicity, even though I sometimes don’t follow my own rule. You can have a pretty blog, with a nice background that you found from your favorite design site…and get away with only spending a few bucks.
8. That Ship has Sailed
If you haven’t started blogging by now, you missed that boat back in 2008. Not true! Readers are ever in search of original voices with new ideas to keep the blogging industry fresh. If you have something to say, something new – start blogging! It is probably easier than ever to start a blog. Resources and tutorials are everywhere, you don’t have to dig very hard to find great posts about how to start a blog, things to use and ways of getting heard. None of this was available just five years ago. Jump in! Welcome to the party.
Have you encountered any blogging myths that you found to be false?